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166 Ratings

At Berkeley

Directed by Frederick Wiseman
United States, 2013


Direct cinema pioneer Frederick Wiseman takes an in-depth look at the preeminent American university during a fall semester that saw a vigorous debate taking place over tuition hikes, budget cuts, and the future of higher education in the United States.

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At Berkeley Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2013 | 2 wins including: CICT-UNESCO Enrico Fulchignoni Award

Village Voice Film Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Documentary Feature Film

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Documentary

At Berkeley is another Great American 21st century epic. This is one generation plumbing all of history for tools to foster thinking skills in another, stretching backward in time, shrinking down to microscopic size, zooming through deep space, the overlapping systems simultaneously abstract and concrete.
January 04, 2015
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When compared to the other more visually stimulating films Wiseman’s made this decade, such as 2011’s Crazy Horse or 2014’s National Gallery, At Berkeley can’t help but appear the more modest endeavour, despite its scope and topicality. That being said, this is a highly articulate and engaging film, and one that benefits greatly from its creator’s wisdom and democratic approach.
September 11, 2014
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Wiseman’s images of the Berkeley campus—with its classical architecture and green, sprawling lawns—evoke Renaissance paintings of ancient Athens, emphasizing the timeless values that universities aspire to uphold. These shots reflect Wiseman’s considerable gifts as a visual artist, which tend to get overlooked in favor of his social observations.
January 01, 2014
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